The surgery has achieved the Investors in Carers Silver Level award – a scheme which is delivered by Hywel Dda University Health Board and supported by its local authority partners in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The Investors in Carers initiative is designed to help health facilities such as GP practices and hospitals focus on and improve their carer awareness and enhance the help and support they give carers.
A carer is someone, of any age, who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. Anyone can become a carer; in most cases becoming a carer is not out of choice, it just happens. Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Chair and Carers’ Champion, Mrs Bernardine Rees OBE recently met with staff from the surgery to present the award and hear more about their work to support carers.
Mrs Rees said: “I am very pleased to present this award to the practice, who have demonstrated through evidence their commitment as a practice to carers. “Carers are the unsung heroes of the NHS; we have to recognise what they do on a daily basis for their loved ones who rely on them. “To have moved from bronze to silver is no mean feat and takes a huge amount of time and energy, I am very proud that Margaret Surgery are showing such commitment.”
Carer Lead for the surgery Nicole Chislett added: “The Investors in Carers Framework has ensured that we’ve now got a structure in place that will help support anyone looking after someone, and continue to do so in the future. “The framework is designed so that the support we offer is long term and not just to provide evidence for the award.”
For more information about the Investors in Carers scheme or for useful advice for carers, please visit: www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/carers.
The Investors in Carers Scheme was originally developed in Ceredigion in 2005, receiving national recognition, and is designed for all GP Practices and Community Pharmacies in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.
There are estimated to be more than 370,000 carers in Wales. 90,000 carers look after family and friends for at least 50 hours a week. Between 70% and 95% of the care provided to people in communities across Wales is given freely by family and friends.